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Driving Disruption

How clear messaging, an original video series and comprehensive LinkedIn strategy established this railroad executive as an internationally recognized transportation expert.

Everything Larry Jordan does is in service of improving the rail industry. His deep love for the industry is what drove him to found Wi-Tronix, a leading innovator in real-time monitoring for rail. For years, he quietly and humbly grew his company, improving safety and collaboration in the industry. 

When he came to SimplyBe. in 2017, he made it clear he did not want to become famous for the sake of it, but he knew he needed to increase his own brand awareness to grow Wi-Tronix and make an even greater impact and disrupt the transportation industry at large.

With such a lofty objective, he knew he needed a team to navigate the unfamiliar terrain of putting himself out there in an intentional way.

Enter: SimplyBe.’s Thought Leader Program.

Transforming Larry’s online presence and platform required a multi-faceted approach. Through:

  • redefined core messaging
  • a bespoke video series
  • a comprehensive LinkedIn strategy

In less than nine months, Larry Jordan was recognized as a leading thought leader in his space, was regularly approached by investors due to his disruptive video series, and was being recognized by his target audience (Class 1 railroad CEOs) at international conferences due to his LinkedIn posts.

Knowing your audience is the foundation of everything you do.

In order to create a message and strategy that would move the needle for both Larry and Wi-Tronix, we needed to understand who we were speaking to.

Conversations with Larry and deep market research revealed CEOs of Class 1 railroads as Larry’s target audience. This was because:

  • Building relationships and trust with these executives would directly have an impact on Wi-Tronix’s success.
  • As an executive himself, Larry had a better chance of making an impact on them than relying on his company’s messaging alone.

When we conducted our market research, we focused on both the psychographics and demographics of this subset. It’s important to understand how your audience thinks as well as where they are online so you can craft a message and strategy that converts.

This group thinks in terms of the status quo; these executives are reluctant to try innovative technology. The standard thinking in rail is to use it until it breaks, and because that’s the norm, the executives think that way as well.

Their primary goal is to save money but we discovered that the best way to convince them to spend the money upfront is with a lot of numbers, data, and facts.

As the industry currently stands, executives are losing millions of dollars a year from preventable spills and other accidents. There are solutions, but their thinking needs to change. Larry provides the answers.

Clear brand messaging will set you apart.

We knew we needed to establish his messaging, and thus his reputation, as much bigger than rail. He was more than a railroad executive. He was a disruptor in the transportation industry. By way of tried and tested discovery questions, as well as market research into his target audience, we created a clear, thought-leading message:

Larry Jordan, Driving Disruption

By claiming this headline, understanding that Larry’s expertise in rail was one way he was doing so, we gave him the framework and tools to effectively speak to his target audience.

Finding the intersection of your gifts and what your audience wants is the key to a strong strategy.

Once the message was defined, we were tasked with building a strategy to best communicate it to the world. 

Larry Jordan - Client Story - Social Posts

Our research on his target audience showed us they were spending most of their time on LinkedIn and Twitter, and primarily communicated via email. This group also highly values in-person communication.

LinkedIn was still a relatively new tool for thought leadership in 2017. At the time, less than 1% of the channel’s monthly active users were creating content consistently. We recommended Larry move forward with a comprehensive LinkedIn strategy and not dilute his message with many other channels.

If Larry was going to be seen as a thought leader, he was going to need to create more than just LinkedIn posts. He needed to create original thought leadership content. We asked ourselves two questions:

  1. What would Larry excel at?
  2. What would perform the best given our other strategy?

Natively uploaded videos perform incredibly well on LinkedIn, and Larry shines on camera, so we recommended videos as his main thought leadership content medium. We also created a repository of blogs because, algorithmically, LinkedIn favors profiles with original articles.

Larry Jordan - Client Story - Video Series

The first season of Larry’s 8-episode original video series received nearly 22,000 organic views, impacting 26% growth in his profile within three months. He has received an influx of new business inquiries via his LinkedIn InMail due to enhanced activity on his profile.

Over five seasons, the series has generated nearly 100K video views and an average of 250 likes/comments per video in engagement. As a direct result of this original thought leadership content and the strategic distribution of these videos, Larry Jordan is now a recognized voice amongst executives at the key rail and tech companies across the globe.

Identify your goals and go deep, not wide.

For Larry, video on LinkedIn was and is the best way to engage with his target audience. We’ve focused on remaining consistent with our chosen strategy rather than giving into distractions of the changing world. Larry is an example of getting crystal clear on his goals and his audience, and consistently creating content tailored to them.

Unlock the only marketing tool you’ll ever need: an authentic personal brand.

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